Research and community interventions for health equity in Burkina Faso



This program seeks to assess community interventions and practices favourable to health equity due to a demographic surveillance system in Burkina Faso.

This is taking place in Burkina Faso because in 2010, the country ranked last on the Human Development Index, measured by the United Nations Development Program, and its health and health equity indicators are alarming. This suggests that the Millennium objectives for development will not be achieved in 2015.

However, the Commission on social determinants of health of the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Bank and the Countdown to 2015 Core Group have prepared a description of theoretically effective interventions for improving health equity. Moreover, a recent review of articles shows that nearly 90% of interventions that follow a participatory and community process have beneficial effects for the public.

Nevertheless, although the content of these interventions is well described in international reports, the conditions for their implementation and real effectiveness in the contexts of natural experiments are still very little known. Meta-analyses in fact indicate that the potential effectiveness of interventions is subject to numerous reduction factors associated with their implementation, often exceeding 50%. This is especially the case in Africa, where research on this subject is very rare. In addition, according to the WHO, these interventions are still very little implemented in Burkina Faso.

The purpose of the program is to study efficacy and promising community intervention processes for improving health equity in the context of one of the world’s poorest countries.

The primary objective of the program is to evaluate community interventions currently underway in the Kaya health district, selected by the stakeholders in the program (researchers, interveners, decision-makers, communities) during an initial participatory planning process. The purpose is to produce evidence of their efficacy in assuring health equity.

The second objective is to formulate, implement and evaluate, given the results of the first work and according to a participatory experimentation approach, good community intervention practices that are favourable for equity.

It will also be important to act and perform research that respects the negotiated ethical principles and partnership approaches with stakeholders, in order to apply the knowledge produced.